Academy of Art University's School of Illustration offers an innovative curriculum that blends digital technology with classical training to meet the marketplace’s growing need for trained artists in both areas. Learn more.
What are the top illustration schools in Utah for 2022?
|Brigham Young University
|Utah Valley University
|Southern Utah University
Our 2022 ranking of the top illustration schools in Utah. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
The Department of Design at Brigham Young University (BYU) is part of the College of Fine Arts and Communications (CFAC), which provides a number of unique opportunities for all majors CFAC majors. Serving close to 5,700 students, the College of Fine Arts and Communications hosts hundreds of performances and student and faculty presentations each year. CFAC students have opportunities to engage in research projects, participate in experiential learning activities in the U.S. and abroad, pursue internships, and exhibit at or access collections in the Brigham Young University Museum of Art (MOA).
The BYU Illustration BFA is a Limited Enrollment Program (LEP) that accepts just 40 students per academic year. Courses for the program are led by industry professionals and include titles such as Design Theory and Visual Culture, Painting the Human Head, Sketchbook, Interdisciplinary Motion, Three-Dimensional Design Illustration, Character Design for illustrators, Basic Storyboarding, Narrative Illustration, Advanced Life Drawing, Design Lecture Series, Typography, and Special Topics.
In the final year of the BYU Illustration BFA Program, students will complete Senior Illustration Studio 1 and 2, Professional Practices for Illustrators, BFA Illustration Capstone Project: Research, and BFA Illustration Capstone Project: Implementation.
Graduates of the Brigham Young University Illustration BFA Program work in Advertising, Publishing (books and magazines), Entertainment (animation, games, television and film), Corporate Publications, News Media, Fashion Design, Toy Design and Production, Museums, Murals, and Exhibitions, Architecture, and Medical and Scientific Illustration. Some graduates have launched their own design studios or successful freelance careers.
Brigham Young University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The school was founded by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Brigham Young in 1875. The school opened as Brigham Young Academy (BYA). Today, Brigham Young University serves nearly 35,000 students, making it the largest church-sponsored university in the United States. BYU provides 400 degree program options and minors across 15 divisions, colleges, and schools.
2. Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah
Utah Valley University’s (UVU) School of the Arts is home to the Department of Art and Design, which has two pathways for students interested in studying Illustration. The first option—the Art and Design AAS Program—has a Design/Illustration Emphasis that requires 63 credit hours to graduate. Students will take courses such as Illustrative Media and Techniques (I-II), 3D Computer Modeling, Digital Painting for Illustration, Spatial Drawing, Graphic Computer Applications, 2D and 3D Design, and Gestural Drawing.
This two-year degree program prepares students for entry level jobs in Advertising Illustration, Illustration for Design Studios and In-House Design Departments, Publishing and Printing Firms, and Freelance Consulting, among others.
The second pathway option for Illustrators is the UVU Art and Design BFA with an Illustration Emphasis. Consisting of 120 credit hours, the BFA Program is designed for students who would like to pursue careers in Traditional Illustration, Digital Illustration, and Animation. Electives options allow students to focus in an area of interest within Illustration. Course examples for the program include Children's Book Illustration, Environmental Design and Painting, Conceptual Illustration, 2D Animation for Illustration, Graphic Design, Graphic Computer Applications, Advanced illustration, Advanced Rendering of Forms and Spaces, Narrative Illustration, and Sequential Illustration.
Of the projects students will complete, two include the BFA Project and Senior Studio. The BFA Project will be completed over the course of two consecutive semesters, and focuses on the development and execution of a gallery exhibition or professional portfolio and includes collaborative work with a gallery/museum professional in preparation of the exhibition's public viewing.
Graduates of Art and Design BFA Program at Utah Valley University are prepared for mid- to upper-level positions at Film and Animation Studios, Game Design Companies, Graphic Design Studios, Advertising Agencies, Design Departments, Magazines, Publishing Firms, and Printing Companies, among others. Some graduates go on to graduate study, freelance careers or to launch their own studios.
Utah Valley University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The school opened as Central Utah Vocational School (CUVS) in 1941 with the primary function of providing war production training. Today, UVU serves nearly 41,000 students, making it the largest public university in the State of Utah. Utah Valley University offers more than 200 degree and certificate programs across five campuses and eight colleges and schools.
3. Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah
The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CVPA) at Southern Utah University (SUU) houses the Department of Art & Design, which has a 19.5 credit hour Illustration Minor and a Studio Art BFA Program (Illustration Emphasis). The Minor explores 2D design, color theory and applications, drawing, narrative and conceptual illustration, and art history. Program features include participation in critiques and discussions, and the opportunity to exhibit student work. Graduates of this program are prepared for entry-level positions in the field or to enroll in a BFA program, such as the SUU Studio Art BFA.
The Studio Art BFA (Illustration Emphasis) requires 120 credit hours to graduate, including 51 credits in Illustration and Illustration electives. Students in this program have the same opportunities as students in the Minor have, as well as internship and study abroad opportunities, and participation in workshops and seminars. Course examples for the Studio Art BFA include Digital Tools, 2D and 3D Design, Art Insights, Art History Survey I-II, History of Graphic Design, Visual Development, 3D Illustration, Narrative Illustration, Conceptual Illustration, Painting I-III, Aqueous Media, Materials and techniques, Drawing I-III, and American Art.
SUU Studio Art BFA students will have the opportunity to focus in an area within Illustration or other creative area through required free electives. Students may choose up to 14 credit hours of free electives to include upper level courses numbered 3000-4999. In the final year of the program, students will also complete Senior Seminar – Specific Area of Study, which provides the opportunity to engage in advanced supervised work in one of 12 areas. Examples include Illustration, Graphic Design, Experimental Media, Drawing, and Printmaking. The SUU Studio Art BFA culminates with two courses: Senior BFA Studio I: Professional Practices and Portfolio Systems and Senior BFA Studio II: BFA Exhibition and Portfolio Completion.
Graduates of the Southern Utah University Studio Art BFA (Illustration Emphasis) are prepared for careers in animation, film, cartooning, and video games; publishing, including children’s books, comics, book cover art, and graphic novels; editorial, such as printed or online magazines and newspapers; licensing, artwork for products and merchandise; advertising; self-publishing; and consulting. Some graduates go on to establish successful freelance careers and others launch their own studios. Program alumni have also continued their education by enrolling in an MFA program.
Southern Utah University has been continually accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) since 1933. Founded in 1897, SUU serves more than 13,000 students enrolled in over 140 majors, minors, certificates, and graduate degree programs across seven colleges and schools.